FAIRFIELD, Conn. – The Fairfield Daily Voice sent five questions to each of the candidates running for statewide office this fall. The following responses are from Sue Brand, a Democrat running for state representative from Fairfield’s 132nd District.
Brand has been a member of Fairfield’s Board of Education since 2007, and was its chair for one year. She is also a member of the Board of Health and the Cooperative Educational Services Representative Council. Before joining the school board, she was president of the Tomlinson Middle School PTA.
Professionally, Brand worked as a cardiac intensive care nurse for 10 years. She and her husband, Patrick, have four children.
Brand is running against Republican incumbent Brenda Kupchick. The district covers Fairfield’s southern portions. It stretches along the shoreline from the Westport border to Ash Creek, and extends as far north as Mill Hill Road and Samp Mortar Reservoir in some areas. (To see a complete map of Fairfield’s districts, click here.)
1) What are the biggest issues facing your district?
I've been going door to door since May so I believe I have a good feel for what is on peoples’ minds.
One issue is that Fairfield is increasingly becoming unaffordable. A second issue is the rising cost of health care particularly for seniors. Commuters want the new rail cars on line faster. Concerns about protecting our beaches and emergency preparedness are also top of mind. And of course healthy schools and education are important to most families.
2) What would you do differently than the previous office-holder?
Todays’ challenges with our economy, lack of business growth and the rising cost of health care, education and taxes require a more strategic approach, and a more collaborative approach to move Fairfield forward.
As a cardiac intensive care nurse I am a health care professional with a deep understanding of the growing needs, rising costs, and solutions to our health care challenges. As Fairfield Board of Education member, and past chair, I have a record for quality education combined with fiscal restraint. As your State Representative I will leverage my leadership experience, my health care and education experience, and my concern for fiscal restraint to address our challenges and opportunities.
3) Is Connecticut going in the right direction or the wrong direction?
No one is happy with the state of the economy in Connecticut. It's clear we need to accelerate putting people back to work, deal with rising costs and attract and retain businesses. We need to promote economic growth and widen our commercial tax base. We also need to deliver services more cost effectively by lowering overhead costs and leveraging technology.
You should expect your State Representative to provide leadership for Fairfield in Hartford on these issues. It's clear we need to make progress faster.
4) What would you do to involve your constituents in the decision making process?
I involve constituents in my decision making process every day. As a Board of Education member, I speak with Fairfield residents regularly to ensure we are meeting their expectations. I have visited homes across the 132nd district since May to gain further insight and I will continue to do that.
5) Why should people vote for you?
These challenging times for our seniors and our families require that your State Representative exhibit a new brand of leadership, experience and commitment to move Fairfield forward. I won all 10 voting districts when I ran for the Board of Education and I received 70 percent of the vote in the August primary, because voters recognized that I am the best choice for Fairfield.
Good governance is about setting priorities while being fiscally responsible. My responsibility as your State Representative is to represent your best interests and to use your money wisely. I am accountable to you to ensure that I have listened and are meeting your needs. I hope you agree that I have earned the right to ask for your support to be your State Representative in Fairfield’s 132nd district.